The Communication curriculum begins with a thorough introduction to the historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations upon which all communication activity is based. Students begin in Pre-Communication, and after successfully completing three required Pre-Communication courses with a 3.0 GPA or higher, may proceed to the upper-level General Communication major or select a concentration in:

  • General communication* - instead of focusing on a particular area, students may choose to study communication in general.
  • Human Relations* - develops students' ability to analyze communication contexts, solve communication difficulties, and build productive relationships-both personal and professional; includes courses focused on managing conflict, providing support, lending and influencing others, and presenting oneself effectively. 
  • Mass communication* - includes courses in professional and journalistic writing and news as strategic communication; the symbols created by mass communication and the role of mass media in society; and the translation of theory into media production in telecommunication areas such as video production, editing, and programming.
  • Corporate communication* - focuses on the theory, concepts, and skills necessary to understand how communication functions in and between organizations; provides background in organizational development, communication training, personnel placement and assessment, supervision and management, labor relations, or internal communication systems development.
  • Public relations and rhetorical advocacy* - includes topics in PR (persuasion, public relationships, and image repair); advertising theory and practice; reasoning, persuasion, and controversy; and the inter-related PR and advertising areas of a public communication campaign.

Points of Pride

  • The School of Communication at Purdue is consistently ranked among the top programs in America in The Gourman Report.
  • Communication majors are encouraged to take advantage of internship and study abroad opportunities, and their curriculum and faculty support these important experiential enrichment opportunities. 
  • Fast Track and Fast Track Te Informa are Purdue University's Student News Television.  Students and faculty produce and create all shows which are aired on Comcast.

*Regardless of communication concentration of interest, choose communication on the undergraduate admission application.


  • Advertising
  • Professional sales
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Customer service/employee relations
  • Recruitment
  • Reporting
  • Editing
  • Promotion
  • Publicity
  • Public relations
  • Writing
  • Lobbying
  • Fund-raising and development
  • Media production, editing, or performance
  • Personnel placement, training, and evaluation

Plan of Study

Students must earn a "C-" or better in each Communication major course.

A. The following courses to satisfy Pre-Com requirements (9)

COM 10200 Introduction to Communication Theory
COM 20400 Critical Perspectives on Communication
COM 31800 Principles of Persuasion

B. The following General Communication Research (3)

COM 30400 Quantitative Methods for Communication Research

C. SIX additional COM courses, at least TWO at the 40000 - level (18)

See course catalog to choose courses.

Program Course Requirements (57-58 credits): (See PDF for full list here)

ONE of the following:

ENGL 10600 First Year Composition
ENGL 10800 Accelerated First Year Composition

COM 1140 Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Other Language (12) (Proficiency through level IV in one language)
West Heritage
United States Tradition
Other Cultures
Aesthetic Awareness
Racial and Ethnic Diversity
Gender Issues
Social Ethics
Individual and Society
Global Perspective
Natural Sciences
Natural Sciences Lab

Electives (20-21 credits)

University Core Requirements

Courses selected above must meet the following University Core Requirements:

Human Cultures Humanities
Human Cultures Behavioral/Social Science
Information Literacy
Science Selective
Science Selective
Science Technology Society Selective
Written Communication
Oral Communication
Quantitative Reasoning

For more information, visit

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